The National House-Building Council (NHBC) Foundation is calling for a new industry-wide campaign to boost the number of young women in house-building after new findings revealed that around one in ten are interested in building and construction careers.
A career of choice: attracting talented young people into house-building by the NHBC Foundation found that while 37% of young men are interested in pursuing careers in the industry, only 11% of women in the same age group (between 14-24) are interested – the lowest level of interest of any other job sector included in the study.
Coming to a similar conclusion as a recent poll carried out by the CITB, the study also found that the UK house-building sector needed to challenge misconceptions if it is to attract a more diverse workforce.
It found that the poor image of house-building remains a challenge to recruitment, with more than a quarter of young people citing it as a barrier. Other issues relate to a lack of information about careers and a perceived absence of professional opportunities. This was particularly evident when those included in the survey were given positive, factual information about the wider opportunities available in the industry, at which point many felt more interested in considering a career.
This was backed by a survey of young people who have already been recruited into the industry, which found that 94% were positive about the information they received about the job before they started.
The NHBC Foundation’s research also identified the importance of parents in shaping the possible future careers of young people, with 57% naming their family as the first port of call for a discussion on careers. Furthermore, a third regarded their family – which would typically have a limited understanding of house-building – as their most valued advisor on careers.
Nick Raynsford MP, chairman of the NHBC Foundation, said:
“To ensure a secure future for the industry we need to build a stable workforce, and that depends upon attracting bright youngsters. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence suggesting that most other career options are more attractive to the younger generation than the house-building industry, connected in the public’s mind with hard physical roles performed in all weathers. In reality, there are of course many other roles offering a range of exciting career prospects in the home-building industry, but many young people are simply not aware they exist.
“We must build greater interest among young people in house-building jobs, and ensure that the sector has the skills to develop the new homes the country so desperately needs.”
The report suggests that the house-building industry should prioritise the promotion of the available careers, explaining the range of practical, technical, managerial and business improvement opportunities. It should also be made clear that a new career in the sector has a future to counter the concern that such a choice would result in a dead-end career.
Mike Quinton, chief executive of the NHBC, said:
“House-building provides exciting, varied and rewarding careers. We want to see more young people – including girls – actively considering a career in our industry to ensure we have a strong and balanced workforce to build the homes our country so desperately needs.
“Our research shows that, if as an